In light of a recent rise in insider attacks against coalition forces, U.S. Forces Afghanistan officials have suspended the training of about 1,000 Afghan Local Police recruits, pending re-vetting of current participants in the program.
Officials emphasized that partnered operations with Afghan forces will continue, and that NATO training for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police are not affected by the suspension of training for the local police program, in which U.S. forces train recruits, in cooperation with Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry and provincial police chiefs, to provide security in remote communities.
“While we have full trust and confidence in our Afghan partners, we believe this is a necessary step to validate our vetting process and ensure the quality indicative of Afghan Local Police,” Army Col. Thomas Collins, U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman, said in a written statement.
“Special Operations Forces has a strong and trusted relationship with its Afghan partners that has endured more than a decade,” Collins added. “Despite the recent rise in insider attacks, they are relatively rare among [special operations] partnered forces. Special operations remains fully committed to a close and productive relationship with our Afghan partners.”
Meanwhile, International Security Assistance Force officials announced yesterday that Afghan and Australian troops on a partnered mission in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province had captured a key facilitator who orchestrated an Aug. 29 insider attack that killed three Australian soldiers and wounded two others.
The facilitator also was responsible for the placement of roadside bombs and the kidnapping and murder of Afghan civilians, officials said, adding that the operation was planned and executed in coordination with Afghan officials, including approval by the Uruzgan provincial governor.
Also yesterday, insurgents using vehicle-borne bombs attacked a base shared by Afghan and coalition forces in the Sayed Abad district of Afghanistan’s Wardak province.
The attack did not breach the base’s perimeter, and there were no follow-on enemy actions, officials said. The explosions caused significant damage to the nearby Sayed Abad district center and killed an undisclosed number of civilians.
“We believe this attack bears the mark of the Haqqani network, which continues to target and kill innocent Afghans and blatantly violates Afghan sovereignty,” said Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, ISAF commander. “I offer my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in this horrible attack. I condemn these atrocities in the strongest of terms.”